Irene Dalila Mwathi comes from Kenya with a brutally violent personal history. Once she wanted to be a journalist, now all she wants is to be safe. When she finally arrives, bewildered, in London, she is attacked by the very people paid to protect her, and she has no choice but to step out on her own into this strange new world. Through a dizzying array of interviews, lawyer’s meetings, regulations and detention centres, she realises that what she faces may be no less dangerous than the violence she has fled.
Written with grace, humour and compassion, this timely and thought-provoking novel tackles its uncomfortable subject matter in a deeply affecting way. A book about forging dignity in a world of tragedy, and raising issues about immigration and asylum-seekers through the story of one woman’s plight, Dalila is a necessary tale of our times. It is also a work of great literary power: a slow-burning, spell-binding novel about how we treat the vulnerable and dispossessed that will leave its readers devastated.